Surprising Health Benefits Of Eating Carbs Every Day

With low-carb diets as popular as ever, you may be wondering if you should limit your intake of things like grains, legumes, and fruit. While limiting carbohydrates can be beneficial to people with certain health conditions, most individuals should not cut carbs from their diet.

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy because they break down into glucose after they are ingested. "Glucose is the primary fuel that circulates in our blood at all times. It's also the principle fuel for the brain," David Katz, MD, MPH, founder and president of the TrueHealth Initiative in Chesterfield, Missouri, told Everyday Health.

It is recommended that adults get 45 to 65 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates. These carbs can (and should) come from a variety of foods. "One of the places people go wrong is thinking that carbohydrates are indicative of some particular kind of food. However, all plants are made up of carbohydrates," said Dr. Katz. "Since plant foods are always a carb source, you cannot get any of those essential nutrients [from foods] without eating carbs. It's valid to say then that carb foods are supporting almost every aspect of human physiology."

Some carbs are better than others

According to Livestrong, there are four main types of carbs: simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, starches, and fiber. It is recommended that you limit your intake of simple carbohydrates, as these provide little nutritional value.

"Simple and complex carbohydrates differ in chemical structure and how quickly they are digested and absorbed," Betsy Opyt, RD, LD/N, CED told Bustle. "Simple carbs, or simple sugars, are made of shorter molecular structures that are more easily broken down, meaning that they are absorbed faster and therefore cause a spike in blood sugar levels." Simple carbohydrates are found in many baked goods, candies, and anything containing refined sugar, like soda and other sweetened drinks.

The other types of carbs, however, offer many health benefits because they contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in addition to their carbohydrate value. They help your brain function, help with weight control, protect your heart, and improve digestion. As long as you're getting your carbs from healthy sources, like fruits, vegetables, legume, and whole grains, there's no reason to limit them in your diet.